Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0102.mpg


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Episode Description:

Well received by the intelligentsia in Northern New England, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show The humble Farmer has produced every week since April 6, 1978 for radio and now on television.

Music by: Django Reinhardt, Matthew Fogg, Sonny Stitt, Earl Hines, Scott Hamilton, and Stan Getz.

This show contains a few minutes of Dr. Dick’s Dancing Puppets.

The show is tightly scripted. Here's an approximation of the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of January 2, 2011.
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1. I just heard from Jonathan in Japan who has been there for several years doing something with software. I told him that I’d never been to Japan and that I’d have no idea of how to survive there. He wrote back, “Heck... there's a McDonald’s on almost every corner...”
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2. Have you ever heard of the Defenders of Wildlife? The other day they asked me for a $5 donation to save something wild. Perhaps we should be resigned to the fact that for hundreds of millions of years life on this planet has continually changed. No matter what they tell you in Texas, man’s contribution to global warming was not responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs --- although we certainly wiped out the wooly mammoth, the dodo and who knows what else. Yes, I personally think it is too bad when some species of animal or bird is eliminated by hunters or the destruction of its habitat. But you might want to stick your head in a hole and hide if you’re bothered by the elimination of wolves or polar bears. After our next election it will probably be mandatory.
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3. After relishing Slim Galliard on Youtube, I opened a link beside it that said Lindy Hop which is obviously a dance for accomplished acrobats. The man throws the woman over his head and some women can even flip the men upside down. The Lindy Hop is no more than a maniacal frenzied version of what we used to call jitterbugging. The Lindy Hop was so interesting I watched three or four more clips and even posted one on my Facebook page. Well, David wrote right back that he loved the dancing but the band was most unfortunate. Hey, that’s OK. Turn off the sound and just watch it. The Lindy Hop films are just the opposite of The humble Farmer television program. The humble Farmer television program is better when you wrap a blanket around the screen and just listen.
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4. I know enough words to get by in several languages. But I’m not a scientist so when I see the word “emulsify” I have no idea of what it means. Say “emulsify” and it brings back vague memories of Dick Cash making something out of seaweed that would keep the chocolate from settling in chocolate milk. But that’s all I know, so when I saw “emulsify” today I looked it up. May I repeat, for the edification of us both, the definition of emulsify? Emulsify: to disperse a liquid into another liquid with which it is immiscible, making a colloidal suspension.
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5. When you see the price of gas go up 20 cents a gallon in a month, what does that tell you? Yes, big oil is about to buy legislation that will roll back DEP bans on drilling. Big oil companies want to drill where they should not be drilling and they have the money to buy the necessary permits or legislation to do it. Suddenly raising the price of gas is a simple, lucrative way of getting an unlettered public to believe that gas prices go up because of DEP anti-drilling regulations. The reason for this sudden hike in gas prices came to mind again this morning when I got an email that said, “We need to raise $7,994 more” to fight “the new, anti-environment Congress.” Perhaps I’m not seeing things clearly, but what can 8 grand do against the hundreds of millions oil companies spend every year to push their agenda? If you’ll bother to Google, you’ll see that a shadow group backed by big oil just spent $390,000 to determine the outcome of one senate seat alone. They are willing to spend as much as it takes to win, but by watching the polls, they can determine exactly how much more advertising money it will take to push their candidate over the top. Because of the recent Supreme Court ruling, big money can now buy any seat it wants. You subsidize this rapacity with the inflated prices you pay for medical care, insurance, and that extra 20 cents on every gallon of gas. If you are reading this you have in your hands one of the few remaining newspapers in the United States in which criticism of the present system is tolerated. It is tolerated for the same reason the money-grubbers allowed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to pass: It doesn’t change the bottom line. It is tolerated for the same reason poor folks are still permitted to kick in $5 to help raise 8 grand to help fight “the new, anti-environment Congress”: It doesn’t make any difference. You’ve probably noticed that when a voice that encourages people to think does start to make a difference, it is quickly removed.
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6. Every day the Bangor Daily News emails me five or so items about things that might interest Maine people. Of course the reporters write these articles and headline them in a manner that will push the most buttons --- that is --- to enrage readers to the extent that their hair stands on end or, at the least, make some readers indignant enough to immediately write a response. I usually find these responses to be more interesting than the articles, as hardly a day goes by but what there isn’t one there that I can embellish and pass along to you. But recently I read the following five headlines that transcended any possible commentary.
Delusional man set Christmas fire, officials say
Woman booted from hotel returns wielding stun gun
Police: MMA coach was intoxicated in fatal accident
Chair lift fails at Sugarloaf, sending 8 to nearby hospital
Stolen stone back in Hampden cemetery
Never in his wildest dreams could a social commentator ever hope to see five newspaper headlines in a row that stood on their own --- yet so cried out for amplification. Like a child who awakes to find himself locked in a candy store, I’m going to have to take some time to sort this out. I’ll get back to you on this.
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7. The email said, “She tore her ACL this summer but still managed to travel. … in France, she proceeded to break her wrist.” If you’re a parent who has a kid involved in sports you already know what an ACL is. Because I could never afford to have children I had to look up ACL to learn that it is a ligament in the knee. If you have an opinion on sports you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that I do, too. The man who gave me the garage door I open every morning shuffled through life on injured knees. He told me he hobbled because his knee joints had been destroyed playing football in high school. This is neither surprising nor worthy of mention. But --- he said that given the chance, he would do it all over again which still amazes me. Being a spindly, wimpy little kid I was always the last one chosen to be on any team if I were tolerated at all. As a result, I was never injured by others. The only time I felt accepted by the group was when I accidentally cut off my right shin bone while chopping down the tree that had eaten my kite.
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8. Have you ever been fumbling around with some project, not really knowing what you were doing, or simply wondering why what you were trying to do was not happening? Just about that time one of the Lemme Show Ya boys looks over your shoulder, and if you are not careful, you will be elbowed aside and someone who thinks he knows more about the project than you do will be digging you deeper into the hole. To be sure, there are some very clever people like my brother who intentionally fumble just so the person looking over their shoulder will finally scream, “For heaven’s sake --- give me that wrench and let me do that for you.” For over 50 years my brother has polished this skill and long ago mastered the art of standing back while some hapless dubber of a Lemme Show Ya Boy sweats himself deeper and deeper into some inextricable mess. You know as well as I do that it is hard not to want to get right in there when someone asks you how to fix the catch on the dishwashing machine so it won’t unhook itself and shut off half way through the rinse cycle, but today we are going to salute those who are strong enough to turn their backs and walk away. I recently witnessed an example of the powerful IQ and maturity it takes to do this. Please listen closely. I handed my digital camera to Steve, who was sitting next to me at the breakfast table, said that there were 172 pictures in that camera that I’d like to erase and asked if he knew how to do it. Steve, who used to teach psychology at Penn State, proved that he is a brilliant man, because he handed the camera back to me and said, “I don’t know a thing about it.”
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9. Everything is relative. The other day my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, spent 5 or more hours on her knees cleaning out and trimming back a hedge with her bare hands. She pulled at the grass and weeds and tried to cut the bushes with a dull pair of bush cutters. She put all the clippings in plastic bags or piled them beside the road. She's so weak from her MD that she can barely hold up the bush shears. She can't even twist the cap off a jar of pickles. But you can’t keep her from rearranging the landscape. Her hands and arms usually look like she'd just separated two rutting tomcats. Do you like that kind of work? After teaching for 25 or so years, my wife thinks that grubbing on her hands and knees is fun. Alles ist relative.
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10. Almost every day I treat myself to a newspaper blog. Although the newspaper articles are not that interesting in themselves, they are carefully chosen with the intent of pushing the reader’s buttons and therein lies their value. We often read on these pages that child molesters should be shot or put in jail for life. --- Probably because very few of the people writing the letters admit to being child molesters. But we have yet to read in any letter on this blog that people who drink and drive --- and endanger entire families --- should be shot or put in jail for life. I wonder why.
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11. When I was a young man of 40, Mrs. Ditchett, who was probably 80, would make me chicken soup. It was the best chicken soup I’ve ever had and if I could locate one of Mrs. Ditchett’s granddaughters, I’d ask her if she had preserved Mrs. Ditchett’s recipe for chicken soup. If you’ve ever wished you had the recipe to something that tasted very good to you years ago you know what I’m talking about. One day I chanced to remember that Dicky, who lives in a town called Kampen, could make good chicken soup so I wrote and asked her for the recipe. Dicky starts off by saying that the soup is so easy that even I can do it myself. And I have to agree that it looks pretty simple --- until I get to line six. On line six I am stopped dead in my tracks because --- it says, “When it is almost cooked, turn the flame down low.” This is how women manage to dominate the kitchen. You will not find one of them who will send you a recipe that says, “Put two quarts of water in a 3-quart pan and boil the chicken for 27 minutes at 250 degrees. Add 17 seconds for every 100 feet above sea level.” Back during my bachelor days whenever Mary Webb would drop off two mackerel I’d call Gladys next door for instruction. Gladys had lived with and around fishermen in St. George for 80 years and knew more about cooking fish than anyone. But when I’d ask her how long I should boil the mackerel, she’d say, “Until they’re done.” I’d ask how I could tell when they were done. And Gladys would say, “You can tell.”
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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0102.mpg

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File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,667,396 Bytes

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 07:02


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